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Of Special Interest ...examining a significantly timely topic

Nov 07 2019

U.K. Stocks: Bottom Fishing… & Chips

  • Nov 7, 2019

A preview of the upcoming Of Special Interest that will examine if the tortured process of Brexit is creating an opportunity to bottom fish washed-out and unloved U.K. stocks. Time to buy?

Oct 05 2019

A Most Peculiar Day

  • Oct 5, 2019

Something remarkable occurred on September 9th. Momentum crashed and Value soared on that Monday, in what one analyst described as a five standard deviation event. Do we have a clear understanding of what really happened? This research project takes a multi-faceted look at what transpired during one unusual week in September.

Sep 06 2019

Factor Trade-Offs

  • Sep 6, 2019

A major difficulty in picking stocks based on quant factors is the need to make trade-offs. A company that looks attractive on one preferred metric will likely look unattractive on another. This study examines the uncomfortable give-and-take that complicates factor investing at the stock level.

Aug 07 2019

Portfolio Positioning: Deciding Not To Decide

  • Aug 7, 2019

One portfolio strategy that attracts our interest is a barbell between Growth or Quality on the bullish side, paired with a Low or Minimum Volatility sleeve for the bearish side. This approach deals with today’s uncertainties by essentially “deciding not to decide.”

Aug 15 2019

Can Equity Investors Eat Their Cake And Have It Too?

  • Aug 15, 2019

Investor sentiment seems to be unusually conflicted these days. There are worries aplenty, including numerous political skirmishes of consequence around the world, a slowing global economy, and lofty U.S. equity valuations. On the other hand, fiscal stimulus is high for this stage in an economic cycle and the Fed is easing monetary policy, two policy drivers it rarely pays to bet against.

Jul 11 2019

Lessons From The Old Masters: John Neff

  • Jul 11, 2019

A recent trip to the Netherlands included visits to The Rijksmuseum and The Mauritshuis to view paintings including The Night Watch, widely acclaimed as Rembrandt’s greatest work, and Vermeer’s equally celebrated Girl with a Pearl Earring.

Jul 03 2019

Lessons From The Old Masters: John Neff

  • Jul 3, 2019

We believe the results of every investment operation depend, more than anything else, on the quality of the investment philosophy and process that drives the portfolio.

Jun 12 2019

Can Smart Analysts Generate Smart Beta?

  • Jun 12, 2019

One of the virtues of quantitative investing is that it relies on measurable data points that fit smoothly into mathematical models.

May 06 2019

Signs Of Spring For Financials

  • May 6, 2019

Signs of spring are popping up everywhere in the Financials sector. S&P Financials was easily the top- performing sector in April and several sub-industries have been bubbling higher in our Group Selection discipline.

Apr 03 2019

Factor Frontiers And Investing To The Max

  • Apr 3, 2019

Quantitative investing has taken the industry by storm over the last decade, and smart beta ETFs are pulling in billions of dollars as investors and advisors gravitate to this portfolio management technique.

Mar 07 2019

Price To Book: The King Is Dead

  • Mar 7, 2019

Since the earliest days of security analysis—when the main question was which railroad stock to buy—Price to Book has been a cornerstone of the valuation process.

Feb 07 2019

“Four Corners” Cloud Plays

  • Feb 7, 2019

The Social/Mobile/Cloud theme (SMC) has dominated the stock market in recent years, eventually reaching a frenzied peak in the summer of 2018.

Jan 07 2019

Incongruities In High Quality

  • Jan 7, 2019

Quality is one of the most popular and successful of the smart beta factors. It is intuitively appealing and serves as a useful defensive strategy in market drawdowns.

Dec 07 2018

Styles And Factors DeFANGed

  • Dec 7, 2018

Social media, mobile computing, and digital life-in-the-cloud were the dominant storylines for U.S. stocks over the last five years—reaching the apex of popularity following the early-2016 market low.

Nov 07 2018

If Not Large Cap Growth, Then What?

  • Nov 7, 2018

With the valuation of several high-profile Large Growth names well over 100 times earnings, we consid-er alternatives by examining the relative valuations between LG and other equity categories.

Oct 05 2018

Research Preview: Sector-Adjusted Factor Returns

  • Oct 5, 2018

This article summarizes our current research into the interaction between factors and sectors. We find that sector weights have a significant influence on some factor results, while the true factor impact is the key driver for others. Watch for our full report coming next week.

Sep 07 2018

Is FANG Forever?

  • Sep 7, 2018

As mania surrounding Apple’s stock was reaching a fever pitch in early 2012, The Leuthold Group wrote a piece entitled, Apple, Just How High Can It Go? To those caught up in the hysteria, the article served as a cautionary reminder.

Aug 07 2018

Too Many Clocks

  • Aug 7, 2018

Whatever one’s philosophical leaning, the practice of adjusting earnings has left investors with too many watches to consult. We look deeper into the topic of adjusted earnings to gauge the slippage between commonly-referenced earnings clocks.

Jul 06 2018

Try This On For Size

  • Jul 6, 2018

Today’s market is barbelled regarding company size, with the mega-cap Tech stocks and the S&P 600 Small Cap index both outperforming the middle of the S&P 500.

Jun 07 2018

Cycles And Taxes And GICS, Oh My!

  • Jun 7, 2018

Analyzing quarterly financial results and developing insights about upcoming periods is always difficult, but the first quarter of 2018 was unusually complicated.

May 04 2018

The Yin And Yang Of Utilities

  • May 4, 2018

Are Utilities defensives, or are they interest rate plays, or both? We believe the driving influence fluctuates based on market conditions, specifically fear, and the desire for protection in down markets.

Apr 05 2018

Defensive Equity Styles: The Sultan Of Swat And The Splendid Splinter

  • Apr 5, 2018

After performing amazingly well in the record-setting bull market run since 2009, defensive equities are once again drawing attention for their traditional role as hedges against a continuation of recent market declines.

Mar 07 2018

Factor Mapping: The Final Piece Of The Puzzle

  • Mar 7, 2018

This months-long research effort culminates with this commentary as we lay out our thoughts on factor rotation and introduce The Leuthold Group’s recently launched Factor Tilt strategy.

Feb 06 2018

Leuthold Thematic Baskets 2.0

  • Feb 6, 2018

After a hiatus of several years, we are re-introducing one of our favorite analytical tools. A thematic basket is a custom-designed set of assets which are exposed to, and will react similarly to, a common theme. Our first new thematic basket is “Capital Spending Beneficiaries.”

Feb 06 2018

Capital Spending Beneficiaries

  • Feb 6, 2018

Several key drivers of capital expenditures look particularly favorable right now, and this research note focuses on the potential for improving business conditions to produce an upswing in capex.

Jan 18 2018

Muster Drill: To The Value Lifeboats

  • Jan 18, 2018

While we’re not calling for an imminent market top, we are keeping a diligent watch from the crow’s nest for signs of a coming market correction.

Jan 06 2018

Coming Attractions

  • Jan 6, 2018

With an abundance of year-end updates in this edition of Perception for the Professional, we plan to release the content for this “Of Special Interest” section separately in mid-January.

Dec 07 2017

The Many Faces Of Mo

  • Dec 7, 2017

Momentum is one of the most widely accepted alpha-generating factors, used by quantitative and fundamental managers alike. Its biggest drawback, however, is high turnover. Herein we explore momentum from the perspective of sector weights.

Nov 07 2017

The Case Of The Disappearing Value Premium

  • Nov 7, 2017

Market history teaches us that investors behave differently in groups than they do as individuals.

Oct 05 2017

The Latest Sure Thing

  • Oct 5, 2017

A fascinating aspect of long-running bull markets is the emergence of money-spinning strategies that come to be seen as “sure things.”

Sep 08 2017

A Harbor In The Tempest

  • Sep 8, 2017

Our Major Trend Index (MTI) recently fell from “positive” toward stocks to a “neutral” reading, leading us to trim bullish equity positions in our tactical portfolios.

Aug 05 2017

Actively Bearish, Passively Bullish?

  • Aug 5, 2017

Relative performance of active and passive mutual funds is one of the leading story lines in our industry, with passive’s recent advantage leading some to argue that it will be the dominant style forevermore. We disagree, and believe that the active/passive relationship has been, and always will be, cyclical.

Jul 08 2017

Beatlemania And Narrow Markets

  • Jul 8, 2017

In April 1964, the Beatles simultaneously held the top-five spots on the Billboard Hot 100, a unique feat in the history of modern music.

Jun 07 2017

Dynamic Factor Investing: A Study In Value

  • Jun 7, 2017

Investment factors experience performance cycles just like every other asset and index. The Value factor is robust across definitions, as all eight versions produced positive excess returns under long/short and long-only methodologies.

May 05 2017

Sector Profit Margins: A Long-Term Review

  • May 5, 2017

Despite real GDP growth of just 1.6% in 2016, the median S&P 500 company earned a net profit margin of 9.7%, only 40 basis points below the record high established in 2014.

Apr 06 2017

Stock Picking In A Season Of Animal Spirits

  • Apr 6, 2017

We examine past capex spending patterns and identify industries with sales growth rates that have historically been the most responsive to capex cycles.

Mar 06 2017

Grappling With A Strong U.S. Dollar Outlook

  • Mar 6, 2017

Profitable investing overseas requires not one, but two, successful decisions: 1) select an outperforming asset class; and, 2) be in a currency that provides a favorable foreign exchange impact.

Feb 07 2017

Factor Investing And The Importance Of Market Cycles

  • Feb 7, 2017

While factors do offer excess return they are by no means winners in all seasons. Our findings show that factor returns are cyclical, volatile, and unstable over time.

Jan 06 2017

Trends In Corporate Debt And Coverage Ratios

  • Jan 6, 2017

Long-term debt (LTD) issued by S&P 500 companies has risen 75% since 2010, and the resulting deterioration in leverage ratios has been all too evident.

Dec 07 2016

Quantitative Factor Performance: Year In Review

  • Dec 7, 2016

Factor performance during 2016 is the reverse of that of 2014-2015. Quants and smart beta funds focusing solely on Value have enjoyed the year, while multi-factor approaches have struggled. Value has been the only factor that has provided positive performance this year.